We are often asked how to incorporate eCommerce into Drupal sites. Drupal is known for its content management capabilities, but on its own it is not an eCommerce solution. There are, however, several options available for your business if you want a Drupal eCommerce solution. In this post, we’ll explore a few of those.
Ubercart is built on Drupal and is a stable module that is fully integrated with Drupal’s core systems. Besides being a stable option, Ubercart is also under active development for the future Drupal 8 platform. We’ve used Ubercart in several eCommerce projects and have found success. It has a core set of features that will get a basic eCommerce site started, but anything further requires additional modules or custom development. This module is not a viable option for robust online stores with a large catalog of products.
Drupal Commerce is led by the former lead developer of Ubercart. Like Ubercart, it is built on Drupal and highly customizable. The issue here is that it is an eCommerce framework, which means that much functionality must be added to a set of core features. The solutions are customizable, but are best served for smaller catalogs of products and a less customized eCommerce experience. Ultimately, Ubercart and Drupal Commerce are good solutions for when you have a lighter eCommerce store that you want to incorporate into your Drupal site.
While not a Drupal module, Magento is an enterprise eCommerce solution that can be leveraged alongside your Drupal site in order to deliver a high level of eCommerce functionality with the ability to have an extensive product catalog with inventory to manage and maintain. While the enterprise version of Magento features a stronger content management section with versioning control, this platform was built with a strong focus on eCommerce and does not handle large amounts of content well. It would be extremely helpful to partner the Magento platform with a CMS like Drupal to manage content.
The drawback here is that you must create two unique sites essentially to leverage Magento in tandem with Drupal. Because of the theme structure in Drupal, two themes must be created to deliver the same experience. This adds to the design and development time required for your website, but if you have a larger eCommerce store, this is the best way to move forward and will make both managing your store and site content easier. If done the right way, the user experience between the two platforms will be seamless for the frontend visitor. Drupal Commerce and Ubercart, while natively integrated into Drupal, simply are not at the point in their development to successfully handle the demands of a high volume online storefront.
At Unleashed Technologies, we have experience with all three of these solutions and are happy to work with you to determine the best fit for your eCommerce site. Contact us to get started.
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